Hummus is an incredibly popular Middle Eastern dip and spread.
It is typically made by blending chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tahini (ground sesame seeds), olive oil, lemon juice and garlic in a food processor.
Not only is hummus delicious, but it is also versatile, packed with nutrients and has been linked to many impressive health and nutritional benefits (1).
Here are 8 scientifically proven benefits of hummus.
You can feel good about eating hummus, as it contains a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.
A 100-gram (3.5-ounce) serving of hummus provides (2):
- Calories: 166
- Fat: 9.6 grams
- Protein: 7.9 grams
- Carbs: 14.3 grams
- Fiber: 6.0 grams
- Manganese: 39% of the RDI
- Copper: 26% of the RDI
- Folate: 21% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 18% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 18% of the RDI
- Iron: 14% of the RDI
- Zinc: 12% of the RDI
- Thiamin: 12% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 10% of the RDI
- Potassium: 7% of the RDI
Hummus is a great source of plant-based protein, providing 7.9 grams per serving.
This makes it an excellent option for people on a vegetarian or vegan diet. Consuming enough protein is essential for optimal growth, recovery and immune function.
In addition, hummus includes iron, folate, phosphorus and B vitamins, all of which are important for vegetarians and vegans, as they may not get enough from their diet.
Summary Hummus provides a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. It is also a great plant-based source of protein, which makes it a nutritious option for vegans and vegetarians.
Inflammation is the body’s way to protect itself from infection, illness or injury.
However, sometimes inflammation can persist longer than necessary. This is called chronic inflammation, and it has been linked to many serious health problems (3).
Hummus is packed with healthy ingredients that may help combat chronic inflammation.
Olive oil is one of them. It’s rich in powerful antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory benefits.
Summary Hummus contains chickpeas, olive oil and sesame seeds (tahini), which are proven to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Hummus is a great source of dietary fiber, which can improve digestive health.
It provides 6 grams of dietary fiber per 3.5 ounces (100 grams), which is equal to 24% of the daily fiber recommendation for women and 16% for men (13).
Thanks to its high fiber content, hummus can help keep you regular. This is because dietary fiber helps soften and add bulk to stools so that they are easier to pass (14).
What’s more, dietary fiber also helps feed the healthy bacteria that live in your gut.
One study found that adding 200 grams of chickpeas (or raffinose fiber from chickpeas) to the diet for three weeks helped promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, such as bifidobacteria, while suppressing the growth of harmful bacteria (15).
Some of the fiber in hummus may be converted by gut bacteria into the short-chain fatty acid butyrate. This fatty acid helps nourish the colon cells and has many impressive benefits (15).
Summary Hummus is a great source of fiber, which can help keep you regular. Additionally, chickpea fiber may promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria, which produce butyrate — a type of fatty acid that helps nourish cells in the gut.
Hummus has several properties that may help control your blood sugar levels.
First, hummus is made mostly from chickpeas, which have a low glycemic index (GI).
The glycemic index is a scale that measures the ability of foods to raise blood sugar.
Foods with a high GI value are quickly digested and then absorbed, causing a sharp spike and fall in blood sugar levels. Conversely, foods with a low GI value are slowly digested and then absorbed, causing a slower and more balanced rise and fall in blood sugar levels.
Hummus is also a great source of soluble fiber and healthy fats.
Chickpeas are rich in protein, resistant starch and antinutrients, which slow down the digestion of carbs (18).
Fats also help slow down the absorption of carbs from the gut, which, in turn, provides a slower and more steady release of sugar into the bloodstream.
For example, research has shown that white bread releases four times more sugar into the blood after a meal than hummus, despite providing the same amount of carbs (19).
Summary Hummus has a low glycemic index, which means it slowly releases sugar into the bloodstream. This is also aided by the resistant starch, fat and protein it contains.
Heart disease is responsible for 1 in every 4 deaths worldwide (20).
Hummus contains several ingredients that may help reduce risk factors for heart disease.
In a five-week long study, 47 healthy adults consumed either a diet with added chickpeas or a diet with added wheat. After the study, those who ate extra chickpeas had 4.6% lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels than people eating extra wheat (21).
Additionally, a review of 10 studies with over 268 people concluded that a diet rich in legumes like chickpeas reduced “bad” LDL cholesterol by an average of 5% (22).
Aside from chickpeas, hummus is also a great source of heart-healthy fats from olive oil.
An analysis of 32 studies with over 840,000 people found that those with the highest intake of healthy oils, especially olive oil, had a 12% lower risk of death due to heart disease and an 11% lower risk of death overall (23).
Another study found that for every 10 grams (about 2 tsp) of extra virgin olive oil consumed per day, the risk of heart disease decreased by an extra 10% (24).
While these results are promising, more long-term studies about hummus are needed.
Summary Hummus contains chickpeas and olive oil — two ingredients that may reduce risk factors, and thus overall risk, for heart disease.
Several studies have examined how hummus affects weight loss and maintenance.
Interestingly, according to a national survey, people who regularly consumed chickpeas or hummus were 53% less likely to be obese.
They also had a lower BMI and their waist size was an average of 2.2 inches (5.5 cm) smaller than people who did not regularly consume chickpeas or hummus (25).
That said, it’s not entirely clear if these results were due to specific properties of chickpeas or hummus or simply that people who eat these foods live a generally healthy lifestyle.
Hummus has several properties that can help promote weight loss.
It is a great source of dietary fiber, which has been shown to boost levels of the fullness hormones cholecystokinin (CCK), peptide YY and GLP-1. Moreover, dietary fiber has also been shown to reduce levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin (28, 29, 30).
By curbing appetite, fiber may help reduce your calorie intake, which promotes weight loss.
Additionally, hummus is a great source of plant-based protein. Research has shown that a higher protein intake can help curb appetite and boost your metabolism (31).
Summary Hummus is a great source of fiber and protein, which may promote weight loss. Surveys have shown that people who consume chickpeas or hummus regularly are less likely to be obese, plus have a lower BMI and smaller waist circumference.
Food allergies and intolerances affect millions of people worldwide.
People who suffer from food allergies and intolerances struggle to find foods they can eat that won’t cause uncomfortable symptoms.
Fortunately, hummus can be enjoyed by nearly everyone.
It is naturally gluten-, nut- and dairy-free, which means it suits people who are affected by common conditions like celiac disease, nut allergies and lactose intolerance.
Although hummus is naturally free of these ingredients, it’s still wise to read the full list of ingredients, as some brands may add preservatives or other ingredients.
Additionally, note that chickpeas are high in raffinose, a type of FODMAP. People who are sensitive to FODMAPs, such as those with irritable bowel syndrome, should be careful not to overindulge in hummus (32).
Summary Hummus is naturally gluten-, dairy- and nut-free, which makes it an excellent choice for people with certain allergies and intolerances. However, people who are sensitive to FODMAPs should be careful not to eat too much hummus.
Not only is hummus nutritious and tasty, but it’s also easy to add to your diet — there are seemingly endless ways you can use hummus.
Spread it onto your favorite wrap, pita pocket or sandwich instead of other high-calorie spreads like mayonnaise or creamy dressings.
Hummus also makes a tasty dip and is best paired with crunchy foods like celery, carrots, cucumbers and sweet peppers. Many people find this satisfies potato chip cravings.
Although hummus is widely available in supermarkets, it’s incredibly easy to make at home.
The entire process takes under 10 minutes and only requires a food processor.
How to Make Hummus
- 2 cups of canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
- 1/3 cup of tahini
- 1/4 cup of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- A pinch of salt
- Place the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Enjoy on wraps, sandwiches or as a tasty dip.
Summary Hummus is nutritious, versatile and very easy to make. Simply add the ingredients above into a food processor and blend until smooth.
Hummus is a popular Middle Eastern dip and spread that is packed with vitamins and minerals.
Research has linked hummus and its ingredients to a variety of impressive health benefits, including helping fight inflammation, improving blood sugar control, better digestive health, lower heart disease risk and weight loss.
Moreover, hummus is naturally free of common food allergens and irritants, such as gluten, nuts and dairy, which means it can be enjoyed by most people.
Add hummus to your diet by following the recipe above — it’s incredibly easy to make and takes fewer than ten minutes.
All in all, hummus is a super simple, healthy and delicious addition to your diet.